A Barren Dystopia

Do you remember the vast, barren landscape in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly?Β Many of the scenes in the 1966 movie were filmed in a place called Almeria, Spain. It used to be a favoured spot for shooting spaghetti westerns. But not anymore. This isn’t just because of the waning popularity of the Western. In what seems like an example of small-scale geoengineering, 26,000 hectares of this land has been transformed into a sprawling sea of greenhouses. It’s a stretch of land so vast that it is clearly visible from space. This is what Almeria looks like now. It grows a colossal volume of produce most of which goes to feed Europe, and the land now generates tens of millions of Euros in turnover each year. While the change has clearly brought advantages, movies in Almeria seem to have come full circle. The area was recently used in the opening scene in a very different type of movie: the dystopian science-fiction Bladerunner 2049.